Tragedy and protection for fallible humans
In the Islamic tradition, it is said that العصمة لا تكون إلا لنبي (infallibility is restricted to prophets).
As I reflect on what happened to Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, not to mention their father, I have already written that I don't think I would have withstood the temptations of corruption, and I would have rationalized them (as a colleague of mine who went through an AA program always says: you can go a day without food, but you can't go a day without rationalization).
I also reflect on people whom I considered friends when I first began observing Islamic finance, and then who became increasingly more antagonistic toward my criticism that they feared would threaten their very lucrative industry. They rationalized their behavior as useful to all those Muslims who otherwise would not have access to financial services and products, or who would have been engaged in even more forbidden financial activities than what they synthesize for them -- comparing their services to lawyers and consultants. One of them, who was academic at the time, told me that we can only fix the system from inside, but when he went inside, he quit his academic post - which gave him independence and objectivity - and became a full time consultant, eventually making arguments that I know he must know are patently false and possibly fraudulent, but then would avert my gaze and not engage me in discussion any more.
Fallible we are. Very fallible. So, for all of us who have failed in life, we must thank God as often as we can for protecting us through this failure. How tragic is the temptation of "success."
صدق ربنا تعالى: ولقد همت به و هم بها لولا أن رأى برهان ربه